Archive for November, 2012

Butler Skype Class – Free

Posted on: November 30th, 2012 by Butler Academy 9 Comments

NEW: Butler Training via Skype


For the first time ever!  Butler training via Skype presented by Newton Cross and Braam van der Westhuizen.  Topics to be covered:


1) How to become a Butler

2) What is Butling

3) The ultimate make over – etiquette and protocol for Butlers

4) Dinner table – creating a master piece  – 10 steps to set the stage


Book now!  Your 15 minutes with The South African Butler Academy – the cost is FREE! Yes, we will not be charging you for this session!  We believe in providing excellent service all over the world!

DATE:  19th December 2012 – South African time – 12 noon


Join us – Book via the message bar below

Formal Dinner Party at the Hollywood Mansion

Posted on: November 30th, 2012 by Butler Academy No Comments

Samantha Gunther 


“Had one of thee best nights ever being treated like royalty! What an AMAZING experience! Thank you to The South African Butler Academy and their butler team for making it a night to remember. 🙂 ” Truly the ultimate in fine dining.

International Hotel Butler Training

Posted on: November 29th, 2012 by Adriaan Coetzer No Comments

The South African Butler Academy is part of operational roles within resorts and understand the procedure of Butler Departments. Recently the Butler Academy trained the world class Regent Resort Hotel in Bali which is one of the many hotels and resorts we have trained.  In 2012 we are pleased to establish an unique Butler Department in the “One & Only” Maldives as well as training Leading Hotels of the World, TAJ Cape Town and training core personnel from the Cape Grace Hotel and Table Bay Hotel Cape Town.

The South African Butler Academy is unique in every way, modern with an exceptional edge to training. Our style is to be flexible in adapting our curriculum to suit each “Brand”  for the specific need of the guest. We introduce special Butler Technical skills and advance the general knowledge of each Butler – sculpting the individual into a world class Hotel Butler.

Newton Cross and Adriaan Coetzer is definately the perfect trainers for the luxury market. Mr. Cross constantly adds to his exceptional resume new resorts and proudly achieves the utlimate in guest satisfaction. As Mr. Cross was the former Butler to Actress Uma Thurman, Nelson Mandela, Thabu Mbeki, Shania Twain, Hilary Clinton and Family, John Cleese and Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe he brings with him experience which creates the “WOW” factor.




“To be always guest oriented and to anticipate guest need, to attain and follow up on any guest complaint, corrective actions to be taken immediately to prevent future recurrence of any guest complaints and guest suggestions have to be listened to and brought to superior’s attention”




Leading Hotels of the World

“Newton was an inspirational mentor, detail focused, and engaging entertainer who played a key role in  developing  the Butler department.  As he not only trains Butlers he assist in uplifting the standards on all our staff!

As a Butler Trainer, he kept a firm grasp on overall guest satisfaction in his training program and innovated and actioned specific guest satisfaction plans to improve the hotels overall image and performance. He also instilled a strong attention to detail in his Butller Training program. He implemented strategies which allowed the staff to “see the world through the guests eyes” therefore allowing them to solve for any guest issues before they became problems.

With his amazing attention to detail, guest focused mentality, in depth understanding of the resort business, and lovable personality, the South African Butler Academy Resort and Hotel Butler Training program is superb and one of the best as we have never experienced such a strong trainer!

Thank you SABA our guests will come back, years and years to come.


Helpful Applications for Apple devices – Xander Labuschagne

Posted on: November 28th, 2012 by SABA Student 4 Comments

For those of you that have an iPad or iPhone. There are some great applications to assist you in being just that one step ahead.

The “24” apps are great, and being used

at most airports in South Africa as well.

News 24, Sport24, Weather24 are just some of them.

If you

know about any other applications that you find useful, please add them on here as comments.

It will create a good impression if you always ready to have the correct information ready to create that “WOW” effect.

Butler Academy the ultimate “Braai” – Barbecue

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by Butler Academy 7 Comments

Today at the Butler Academy we discussed several topics and one topic came up on;  how to build the perfect “Braai”


To many foreigners a “Braai” is similar to a Barbecue, In South Africa with our unique climate we enjoy a warm yet cool climate therefore we find ourselves outdoors often during summer. a “Braai” is a form of socializing and relaxing it can be formal and informal depending on the request of your principle.


The current “Butler Candidates” attending the course  at the Butler Academy will be commenting below on their favorite “Braai” tips!


Please read and enjoy!

Butler Training – Flower Arrangement & Table Decor

Posted on: November 22nd, 2012 by Butler Academy 9 Comments

Table Service – Flowers and Decor


The South African Butler Academy is proud to offer an unique tailored 2 days on Flower arrangements and table decor.


Flower Arrangement and Decor Design

Flowers bring joy and colour into our principles homes and resorts. As part of our 8  week Butler training course butlers will be given  the opportunity to develop their practical flower arranging skills whilst ensuring that there is also a strong focus on decor and design.


Few Butler Tips from the Academy:


When you are preparing  flowers  you must consider the place and occasion where the arrangement will be used as well as the container in which the arrangement will be made.


The design element, in other words, choosing the foliage and flowers for the arrangement is made up of choosing the colour, size, shape, texture, purpose and mood of the arrangement.


If you are making a low arrangement, for example an arrangement for the dinner table, the arrangement should be wider than the container in which it is arranged. Make sure that the size, shape and colour of the arrangement will harmonise with the table setting.


Tall flower arrangements should be at least one and a half times taller than the container in which the flowers are arranged.


The floral design should include a front and a back part of the arrangement if the arrangement is not going to be a circle shaped flower arrangement.


First always arrange the widest and tallest flowers of the shape that you chose.  Now fill up with smaller blooms and then fill around the base and lower part of the arrangement with foliage and fillers to hide stems and the Oasis.


Join the Butler Academy and receive world class training.

The “Ballet of Service” – Butler Service Style

Posted on: November 22nd, 2012 by Butler Academy 1 Comment

Table Service – Ballet of Service


Do you know what is the “Ballet of Service” is it a ballet, is it part of table service and how to offer the “ballet of service” ?


A ballet of service is originally a formal style of serving, during which two or more servers perform a simultaneous act of serving. Although it may be applied to several styles of service (i.e. Plate service, Silver service, Butler service,) the basics of the” Ballet of Service” remain the same.


You will notice that performing a Ballet of Service is easier to do when using “Plate Service” , because the servers don’t have to wait too long for others to finish their serving. Therefore, this is the most commons style used for the Ballet of Service. In the chapter about the actual serving, I will explain more about it, and how the learned techniques can be applied to other styles of service.


These basics may also be used in less formal settings when the table is served by two or more servers, since it supports efficiency of serving and a professional attitude towards the guests.


  1. 1.    How to perform the Ballet

When all preparations are done, the Ballet begins. The servers line up in the pantry in the order they will appear at the table. In the example, server 2 will start, followed by 1, 4 and finally 3, since they round the table counter-clockwise and server two is furthest from the pantry.


Preferably, there will be a Head Butler in the room that orchestrates the servers. He decides when the plates can be served or taken, or when drinks have to be poured. A discrete “nod” of the head should be enough. Nowadays, a very common system is to provide the host of the diner with a beeper. Whenever the next action is to be taken, he will push the button, which activates a beeper (or preferably a vibrator) from the Head Butler.


The moment that all servers are on the left side behind their number 1 guest, the head butler or a designated server gives a sign on which all servers synchronically serve the plate. They will only let go of the plate at the moment that ALL servers have placed their plates at the under plate. Then they will synchronically step back, turn 90 degrees, and move back to the pantry. To go back to the pantry, they will complete the counter-clockwise circle they have started. The second and third group is served in the same way.


When pouring drinks, the servers will perform a Ballet of their own. Usually, the most important number 1 guests are placed opposite, or at least well spread over the table. These are served first, but synchronically. In case one of the two rejects a drink, the server will wait at this place until his colleague finished his serving. Then they will synchronically move towards the next guest, and perform the next Ballet.


One can choose to start with the numbers one, and then just offer every next to the right, or to make a separate Ballet Chart for the drinks. This last option is nice, but difficult and may be less interesting to see because of the distances to walk in between the servings.


Join the Butler Academy for the “true art of service”

Thanksgiving Etiquette – by Aldo Baker

Posted on: November 21st, 2012 by Butler Academy 2 Comments

Thanksgiving Etiquette Table Setting Guide


Time to set the table! Are you preparing for Thanksgiving at your home this year? Make sure you know how to properly set the table and essential table etiquette to ensure a smooth Thanksgiving meal. Choose from a basic setting, or step it up a notch and be fancy. Add a personal flare by creatively folding napkins in a festive way.

Leave a comment and let us know which table setting you will be using and any Thanksgiving meal traditions that are unique to you and your family



Click to Enlarge Image

Thanksgiving Etiquette Table Setting Guide

Silver Cleaning at the Butler Academy

Posted on: November 19th, 2012 by Butler Academy 3 Comments

Yes, as a Butler you are in control of the Silver! I personally believe that silver in a household is the one item which shows that the Butler is doing an excellent job! Silver should be shiny and well maintained, the correct product should be used and above all the method in cleaning silver is important.


At the South African Butler Academy we train our Butlers in caring for silver here is a glimpse into our “Butlers Compendium”


Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper.

Fine silver (99.9% pure) is generally too soft for producing functional objects; therefore, the silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength, while at the same time preserving the ductility and beauty of the precious metal. Other metals can replace the copper, usually with the intent to improve various properties of the basic sterling alloy such as reducing casting porosity, eliminating fire scale, and increasing resistance to tarnish.


These replacement metals include germanium, zinc and platinum, as well as a variety of other additives, including silicon and boron. A number of alloys, such as Argentium sterling silver have appeared in recent years, formulated to lessen fire scale or to inhibit tarnish, and this has sparked heavy competition among the various manufacturers, who are rushing to make claims of having the best formulation.


However, no one alloy has emerged to replace copper as the industry standard, and alloy development is a very active area.




With proper care your silver will stay as beautiful and precious as the day you received it and will become a precious heirloom that can be enjoyed by generations.


There is very little that can be done to damage silver that a good silversmith cannot repair. Scratches and marks can be buffed out, old and heirlooms pieces can/should be repaired by hand – a qualified silversmith should be consulted and will be able to restore most damaged silver and can even replace knife blades.


What causes tarnish:  Humidity and chemicals in the air cause silver to tarnish.  The most common tarnish causing elements are food (onions, eggs, mayonnaise, salad dressing, salty foods) salt, wool, felt, rubber bands, latex gloves, carpet padding, sulphur in the air, oily residue from our hands and fingers.


Preventing tarnish and storing your silver:  Tarnish can be minimized during storage.

Butler Training Tips

Posted on: November 19th, 2012 by Butler Academy 1 Comment

First impressions are lasting impressions – You have 5/7 seconds to make an excellent first impression;



At the Butler Academy we believe in a Butler with Distinction;



Thank you for reading our Butler Tips!